The story of the bicycle begins in the early 19th century. The first version of a bicycle was German in origin and called the “draisine.” Bicycle designs went through many developments and eventually caught on in the US and other parts of the world. The popularly of bicycles in the United States dropped off in the early 20th century because they were considered children’s toys, and most bicycles by 1940 were made only for children. European adults began cycling as a sport in the 1930s, which set in the motion the popular activity that we know today.
There are a number of different types of bicycles available to use and purchase. The most popular kinds of bicycles today are mountain, cruiser, hybrid, and road models. As you can imagine, road bicycles are intended only for use on paved surfaces, whereas mountain bikes are usually driven off-road on uneven gravel and dirt paths. Hybrid bikes were created as a mix between a mountain and road design and are intended for riding on a variety of surfaces. Cruiser cycles are ridden for fun and should only be used on smooth, paved city streets.
For many people, bicycling is not only a fun recreational activity, it’s also their main source of transportation. Riding a bicycle to work has many benefits, including how easy it is on your wallet. With gas prices showing no signs of dropping, choosing to bike around your city is a smart, healthy option for your daily commute. People who are interested in using a bike as their everyday transportation should be sure to have it serviced by a professional in order to ensure that it’s in great shape. Taking the time to map out a safe travel route is also extremely important, because not every city is bike-friendly.
In addition to being a viable source of transportation, bicycling is also a great way to stay fit. Cycling is an especially effective way to maintain your weight and prevent certain chronic conditions. This activity can improve cardiovascular health and keep illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes at bay. It is also a great way to build muscle strength and tone the lower body. Cycling builds stamina, easily burns calories, reduces stress, and even improves coordination.
Cycling is a very popular sport in many parts of the world, and it is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. The Tour de France is probably the most recognizable cycling competition in the world and has made the cyclist Lance Armstrong a household name. If an individual is interested in becoming involved with competitive cycling, there are many online resources that detail how to get started. Most major cities hold annual or bi-annual races, so it should be easy to sign up for a race nearest to you.
Of course, some people aren’t interested in riding a bike to stay fit or compete with others, they just want to have fun. Bicycling is a popular form of recreation for everyone around the world. It can be an easy way to sight-see in new places, as well as enjoy nature and spend time outside. Family bike rides are a fun way to spend time with children on the weekends. More and more bike paths are being created around the country as cities become increasingly bike-friendly. It’s easy to find a map of city bike paths by going to the government websites of that particular city
Although cycling is a fun activity and a great way to stay in shape, it can certainly be very dangerous. Cyclists are often injured and killed while riding—in fact, in thousands of people are injured every year. Everyone who chooses to ride a bicycle should be sure to wear a helmet and deck out their bikes in reflective lights and materials. It is also very important to keep it properly maintained and in good condition. People who have never ridden a bike or want to start riding should check with their doctor to make sure they are healthy enough to begin a regular cycling routine.
No matter your needs, cycling can be a wonderful activity to stay physically fit, spend time with your family, or relieve stress. Riding a bicycle has many health benefits and is something that can be done by almost everyone. People should always take the appropriate precautions before starting any new exercise routine, and it is a good idea to wear safety gear and make sure your bicycle has been serviced and is in good condition.
These links will help get you started:
- The Economics and Benefits of Mountain Biking
- Competitive Biking Skills
- USA Cycling
- Biking Rules of the Road
- Cycling.TV: A Digital Cycling Magazine
- League of American Bicyclists
- UltraMarathon Cycling Association
- Cycling – Health Benefits
- The New American Recreation
- Bicycling Info
- Beginner Cycling Training
- A History of Bicycling Timeline
- Bicycle Safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Bicycle History Timeline
- A Brief History of the Bicycle